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Understanding the DNA test

Nigerians are now becoming more interested in Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) to ascertain paternity of their children owing to a recent true-life story that gained traction on various social media platforms.

Deoxyribonucleic acid – DNA is the genetic material you inherit from your mother and father. Paternity refers to fatherhood.

Paternal testing is a DNA blood test to confirm the biological relationship between a presupposed father and a child/children. DNA testing for family genetics is usually focused on the father because the child is carried by the mother in pregnancy, with an exception for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) cases and surrogacy.

A DNA paternity test uses DNA, usually taken from a cheek swab, to determine whether a man is the child’s biological father. While a DNA paternity test is available in Nigeria, it still remains inaccessible due to the cost. A test cost approximately about 100,000 ($289.00) only covers the in-lab testing of one parent and one child.

A DNA test in Nigeria costs between N50, 000 and N120, 000 depending on the clinic, procedure, and purpose. For instance, tests involving legal issues might attract more charges and could even be as high as N120, 000 – N150, 000. In addition, clinics, labs, or hospitals where the test is performed matters.

It generally takes 5-7 workdays after receipt of the samples to receive the results for paternity testing and 5-15 workdays for relationship analysis testing.

Using DNA in finding your relatives on average, your siblings and parents share about 50 percent of your DNA.  Identical twin 100 percent, Half-siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews share about 25 percent. First cousins share about 12.5 percent of your DNA. Fourth cousins share 2 percent. The service attracts adoptees, donor-conceived children, and others who hope to find unknown relatives.

DNA can tell you a lot about yourself and the tests can do this, by looking at your DNA to determine what “functions” it exposes in your genetic code. That is why some DNA tests are able to provide health and lifestyle information.

During a medical DNA test, a licensed practitioner such as a nurse or doctor collects a small sample of hair, skin, saliva, or blood from a patient. Pregnant people may also give a sample of amniotic fluid (aka the liquid around an unborn child.)

Genetic testing is an important health-care tool that can tell people a lot about their bodies.

These tests analyze a sample of a person’s DNA and looks for specific changes associated with different conditions.

Often, test results can help doctors diagnose and predict a person’s risk for developing a disease.

Other DNA tests can tell people about whether they’re predisposed to certain traits.

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